Drawing from Gee's learning principles developed from the digital games environment, we provide a critical analysis of the difference between using these principles in a literacy environment as opposed to a mathematical environment. Using stimulated recall, primary school-aged students played with a number of contemporary digital games. Feedback was sought. This was compared with the descriptions provided by experienced adult gamers. Both players provided insights into the cognitive process used by gamers when engaging with games. Collectively, these sources allow us to propose that the learning principles may restrict deep learning processes for mathematical learning.